Research Allies for Lifelong Learning

Q5. How did English language learner enrollment vary by age group?

Overall, ELL enrollment declined.

  • The age group of 19 to 24 years saw a decrease from 18.5% to 14% across time 
  • In fact, the number of 19- to 24-year-old ELLs dropped from 203,000 to 118,000. This 42% decrease is the largest single drop in number among major groups 
  • What are the consequences of fewer 19- to 24-year-old ELLs enrolling?

At the same time, ELL enrollment for ages 45 to 59 years rose slightly (from 17% to 22%).

  • The number of ELLs in this age group stayed about the same, even as the number of younger ELLs decreased 
  • These enrollment differences may relate to shifts in immigration or to the recession 

Further analysis by state will allow us to understand enrollment differences in more detail.

 Source: U.S. Department of Education National Reporting System data 2/21/2012